Stop and Smell the Books
For today's entry I decided to write a short story and practice my creative writing. I hope you enjoy it.
I wander through the heavy double doors and am immediately greeted by the aroma of fresh paper and new books. I quickly wonder to myself if you could bottle that scent and have it as a home fragrance spraying out of a plastic machine every few minutes into the room ensuring that the smell never fades. Then my mind quickly wonders if I am the only person who would spray the smell of a bookstore into their home and feel the same sense of relief as I do. I slightly smirk at my inner bookworm and find amusement in the ways my mind can wander. This week has been rough. Lonely. Anxious. Lost. My emotions have been exhausting as they swirl together into a frenzy of confusion that only ends with a blankness and forced silence that leaves me feeling empty. But right now, as I walk through these aisles wishing that ‘new book’ was a perfume I could buy; I find myself admiring the novels stacked around me and think of all the possibilities waiting to be uncovered, waiting to be explored. Do I want to fall into one of my usual fantasy worlds? Do I want to explore the sexy writing of a new romance series? Do I want to explore a new topic and widen my horizons on how diverse the real world around me is? I walk slowly through the aisles letting only the ponderings for my next read fill my mind and clear out all the thoughts of ‘what am I doing with my life’? Today I am picking a book, simple enough. But what? I wander in circles picking up books here and there, reading the covers then opening them to a middle page and taking a sneak peak into where the author can take me.
In a far back corner, far away from my usual reads I see a small section that intrigues me. It feels hidden, secluded, almost like a dark secret: ‘Writing Resources’. My curious hand reaches out and picks up one of them and I start reading the description. The book talks about how to write a plot, develop real characters, engage your readers, and create a page-turner. I find myself sitting on the floor of the bookstore reading the back cover and sneaking a peak at a dozen of the books and soon I have a small pile next to me on possible reads. Why this section? With all the possibilities in this two-store bookstore, why do I find myself sitting in the corner eating up all the techniques of writing and story building? Am I curious about the author process? How do they make their worlds? Am I trying to over analyze how they create the world that can take me away from the daily grind?
In that moment, I find myself transported to a world of my own. I am sitting on a porch in a small cabin in the woods drinking my morning coffee and smelling the clean green air. I hear the dogs rustling inside waiting for their morning walk excited to find new small animals to chase as we walk the dirt trail outside the house. But, this morning I feel inspired and the dogs will have to wait a little longer. My characters are calling me. Their dialogue is waiting to be written. I need to put down their words that only I can hear. They want to be known, they want the opportunity for people to meet them and join them in their world of fantasy with only my imagination as their limits. I spend hours writing and enjoying being lost in their world with them. When I’m done, I lean back in my computer chair and glance out the window and notice the light is starting to fade. I still have just enough time to take the dogs for the walk I promised them. As I stand to walk out of the room I look to my right and see my oak bookshelf with my book series lining the top row and smile to myself thinking of all their stories and how I enjoyed sharing them.
I snap back to reality, and here I am sitting in the back corner of a bookstore fantasying about being a writer? I look at the pile of books next to me and the doubt starts filling me. The voice in the back of my head states ‘you need to have realistic dreams and be grateful for where you are. You are not a writer, you are an accountant. Its what we have worked for.’ Right. I have worked long hours and went to college for this life. This is what I wanted. This fleeting thought is only temporary. My real goals in life I’m already accomplishing. I am good at what I do, and it has made me very successful and I should be happy with that. I put the books back on the shelf and stand up to walk away and my eyes start to sting, like my inner self feels sad in that acknowledgement. What if this isn’t what I wanted? What if I wanted something different? What would that mean? Have I wasted too many years? I stand there in limbo unsure what to do, like in this moment I have a choice to make. This could be the moment that I make a decision that could change the course of my future. My time is already limited. I am a numbers person, and I have never been a great writer in school. As the negative self-talk fills me with sadness, a small voice like a stubborn child whispers from somewhere deep inside of me ‘but you’ve always loved stories.’ I sigh. I grab the book on the top about how to start a novel and silence all the voices by telling myself ‘it’s just one book’ and walk towards the cashier.